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Is an employee’s drive home within the scope of employment?

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The appellate court accepted that there was a rebuttable presumption that the employee was acting within the scope of his employment because he was driving an EPWU utility vehicle when the collision happened.

However, the appellate court found that the employer overturned this presumption by showing that the coming-and-going rule applied because the employee statement report showed that he was done with his shift and was driving home using his assigned take-home vehicle at the time.

The appellate court then addressed the employee’s arguments. First, he alleged that there was a factual issue on whether the employee was off-duty, given the inconsistencies about what time he clocked out.

The appellate court rejected this argument. Regardless of whether the employee clocked out, the evidence showed that he left the workplace and headed home after the end of his shift before the collision occurred, the appellate court said.

Next, the employee tried to cite an EPWU policy to counter the argument that the employee was merely coming and going. The EPWU policy stated that employees should only use a utility vehicle for official business or when advantageous to the business and should secure the vehicle by removing the keys, locking the doors, and parking off the street.

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